Monthly Archives: March 2012

Robert D. Butters writes monograph on cloud computing for Aspartore Books

Arnstein & Lehr Attorney Robert D. Butters

Robert D. Butters

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Robert D. Butters has written a monograph on cloud computing for Aspartore Books, a subsidiary of Thomson Reuters. The report is titled “Understanding the Legal Risks of Cloud Computing (Special Report).”

To order chapter excerpts, click here.

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The "Googling Juror"

In an on-line article titled, “Rely on Instructions to Curb the Socially Networked Juror” (3/19/12), Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm writes that “the ‘Googling Juror’ has emerged as a massive concern in the courts with plenty of stories on the process being thrown into mistrial by panelists who had to look up a fact, couldn’t take their finger off the Tweet button, and felt the need to “friend” parties, attorneys, and other jurors.” Dr. Broda-Bahm references a new article in the Duke Law & Technology Review (St. Eve & Zuckerman, 2012) titled, “Ensuring an Impartial Jury in the Age of Social Media” that discusses a survey of 140 former jurors. He quotes a juror as saying that “nothing” could prevent her from using social media during the trial. The good news is that of a sample of 140 jurors surveyed, only 6 reported a temptation to use social media during their trial, and none of those 6 succumbed to the temptation.

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ACO: Understanding Beneficiary Assignments

In the final rule, CMS chose to adopt a preliminary prospective assignment methodology with final retrospective reconciliation.  Under this model, CMS will create a list of beneficiaries likely to receive care from the ACO based on primary care utilization during the most recent periods for which adequate dates are available, and provide a copy of […]

For more information please visit or click on the headline above.

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Status Report on the Federal Health Insurance Rate Review Program

by Jesse M. Caplan and Serra J. Schlanger

Since November 2011 the Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (“CCIIO”) in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has completed 22 reviews of health insurance premium rate increase filings in the individual and small group markets. Under the new federal rate review regulations, CCIIO has determined that six of the reviewed premium rate increases represented “unreasonable” increases while 16 of the rate increases were deemed “not unreasonable.”

This Implementing Health and Insurance Reform alert provides a summary and analysis of the completed federal rate review determinations to date. It also provides a link to Epstein Becker Green’s interactive National Health Insurance Rate Review Scorecard, which offers insurance carriers, lawyers, and other stakeholders an up-to-date resource on federal and state health insurance rate review programs, standards, and initiatives.

Read the full alert here

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Change or Die? A General Counsel Panel – Part I

A few days ago, I offered my initial recap of the general counsel panel that we were treated to at this year’s Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference, focusing on some key quotes from the session. Now, let’s get into the meat of the panel, where even more value is to be found.

The one overriding thought I had (and I was not alone if you listened to the tweet stream) was that year after year, we’re hearing the same comments and advice from general counsel. What does that mean? It means that law firms STILL aren’t listening to what their clients really want. 

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Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Third Edition–An Indispensable Tool

With little fanfare, the Federal Judicial Center and the National Research Council of the National Academies issued the Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Third Edition, in 2011. Soon after the Supreme Court’s historic 1993 holding in Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in which federal judges were directed to serve as “gatekeepers,” the Federal Judicial Center published the First Edition of the Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, which became the leading reference source for federal judges seeking an understanding of difficult issues involving scientific testimony. The Second Edition was published by the Federal Judicial Center in 2000.  Considering advances in science, both in terms of how science is treated in the courtroom and in the laboratory, over the last 12 years, a new edition is certainly welcome. 

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Payday for Unpaid Interns?

By:  Amy Traub and Desiree Busching

Like the fashions in the magazines on which they work and the blockbuster movies for which they assist in production, unpaid interns are becoming one of the newest, hottest trends— the new “it” in class action litigation. As we previously advised, there has been an increased focus on unpaid interns in the legal arena, as evidenced by complaints filed by former unpaid interns in September 2011 against Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc. and in February 2012 against Hearst Corporation. In those lawsuits, unpaid interns working on the hit movie “Black Swan” and at Harper’s Bazaar magazine, respectively, alleged that their high-profile employers violated federal and state wage-and-hour laws by failing to pay them for work they claim was more aptly suited for paid employees.

The newest case to hit the scene on this issue has been filed by Lucy Bickerton, a former unpaid intern of “The Charlie Rose Show” on PBS. In her March 14, 2012 complaint, Bickerton alleges that she worked for the show in 2007 for approximately 25 hours per week and that the show and its host had her performing “productive work”—work for which she claims she, and other interns like her, should have been paid.

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Is Jack Gross the Next Lily Ledbetter?

by Michael A. Kalish and Adam M. Tomiak

Sens. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. recently introduced the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act, a bill intended to lessen the burden on age discrimination plaintiffs under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”).  The bill seeks to return age discrimination plaintiffs to the standard the Senators believe they were subject to prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc., 557 U.S. __ (2009).

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ILN Today Post

Investing in distressed businesses – opportunities in the new environment

Despite suffering the worst recession since the Second World War, rates of corporate insolvency in England and Wales are low by historical standards.  Looking back over the last 25 years, the rate of liquidations as a percentage of active registered companies peaked at 2.6% in 1992, and stood at an average rate of 1.2% over the whole period.  In 2010, however, the rate stood at 0.7%.  Why is this and what are the implications for businesses?

Explaining the paradox

It is true that formal insolvencies tend to peak when an economy is recovering from recession – a time when many businesses are suffering the strain of an increase in trade, and prices of realisable assets are on the rise.  It is also true that low interest rates mean that many weak companies can survive for longer.  However, those factors do not explain the extent of the reduction in corporate insolvencies. This reflects deeper structural changes in the recent downturn in the way that distressed businesses are dealt with in England. More…

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HEALTH REFORM: Status Report on the Federal Health Insurance Rate Review Program

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Affordable Care Act“) required the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS“) to establish a process for the review of “unreasonable” health insurance premium rate increases in the individual and small group markets. As a result, federal regulations mandating the review of all rate increases of 10 percent or more in the individual and small group markets became effective on September 1, 2011.[1]

In the six months since the federal rate review regulations became effective, the Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (“CCIIO“) in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS“)[2] has completed 22 reviews of insurance premium rate increase filings. CCIIO determined that six of the reviewed premium rate increases represented “unreasonable” increases while 16 of the rate increases were deemed “not unreasonable.” It is our understanding that none of the filed rates that CCIIO deemed “unreasonable” have been rescinded or otherwise adjusted.

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